03 November 2007

Soviet Players in Gaige

Continuing with Biographical Data for Soviet Players, I checked all 359 names on my list of Soviet players and found that 46 were not in Gaige. Wahrheit commented on the previous post that finding four out of 50 names not in Gaige was evidence of success. After overcoming my initial astonishment that anyone could be the least bit interested in this project, I cautioned that it was probably because Gaige's work ended before the Soviet Championships did. That seems to be the case. There are many names that I recognize -- Bologan and Kramnik are two good examples-- but who are not listed in my 1987 copy of Gaige. There are also a few names that I don't recognize. If I don't find them on Chessgames.com, then they are either obscure players or evidence of a mistake somewhere.

At this time there's not much to say about the data. The most common first names in the list, around two dozen players each, are Alexander and Vladimir. These are followed by Yury, Mikhail, Sergey, and Nikolay, with a dozen or so examples each. Boris and Anatoly also rank fairly well. This undoubtedly says more about popular Russian names than about any magic to help babies become strong chess players.


Wahrheit said...

That's funny, I'd completely forgotten that Bologan was originally from Moldova, and had played in some USSR events. He seems to be a feature in every British player's book of best games since he's played in so many tournaments there and the Bundeschliga, big European Opens etc. I guess I just thought of him as "Eastern European."

Mark Weeks said...

Good point, Wahrheit. It looks like one step of this project will be to identify the *real* nationalities of the players. A few years ago I had an email discussion with a Ukrainian about the great Ukrainian players. Before that I had always considered them as 'Soviets' and had no idea what common heritage they shared. - Mark